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Ky. hospital officials once again ask people not to go to ER for COVID tests

Ky. hospital officials once again ask people not to go to ER for COVID tests
Published: Jan. 21, 2022 at 4:07 PM EST
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CORBIN, Ky. (WKYT) - Hospital officials in southern Kentucky say COVID-19 is starting to overwhelm them again.

At Baptist Health in Corbin, officials say some people are so desperate to get a COVID test, they are coming to the hospital’s emergency room.

Medical Director Dr. David Worthy has an urgent plea to the community as hospitalizations rise with the omicron variant: stop coming to the ER to get a COVID test.

“If you are sick, if you have shortness of breath, chest pains, please come in. Doors are open. We want to take care of you,” Dr. Worthy said.

However, he says some are ignoring the multiple other options to get a test and it’s clogging up the ER. It’s happening as cases are starting to skyrocket again. A month ago, they were treating 20 patients. Now, it’s up to fifty.

“Everyone is exhausted. Our physicians. Our nurses. Our respiratory therapists. Everyone is exhausted. We have been doing this for a year and a half now. Just came out of a horrible surge with delta,” said Dr. Worthy.

He says they are holding their heads high and working through it, sometimes hearing patients tell them they regret not getting the vaccine.

“Particularly in the ICU. Absolutely, we hear that a lot. We hear it from patients and family members. Unfortunately, it’s too late when you are in the hospital,” Dr. Worthy said.

A spokesperson for Grace Health, which has health care clinics all over the region, told us they are seeing people with all kinds of ailments: COVID-19, the flu and strep. Some people have two of the three at the same time.

Baptist Health officials say they are no longer offering monoclonal antibodies because it’s not effective with omicron.

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